Megalithic meaning. I’ll get back to that. But since it came up in my last post I’m going to take a brief detour to Irish graveyards.
Back when Dennis and I had the design and marketing agency, a local funeral home and cemetery was one of our clients. We learned a lot. Probably more than we wanted to. I remember one fall day I was standing outside the funeral home with the director when, from a nearby bonfire of raked leaves, an ash floated down and settled on the ground between us. “Ah, Mrs. Johnson,” he said without missing a beat. Funny guy, Myron. He delighted in returning my phone calls when he was working the embalming room, punctuating our business conversation with a detailed description of what he was doing and revving the power tools near the phone. But I digress.
On the cemetery side of the business we learned that headstones are no longer available, replaced by flat plaques installed level with the ground. Flower vases are offered, only one per plot and only with a screw base so they can be detached from the plaque. Why? To make it easier to mow the lawn. It’s all about efficiency and convenience.
Visit an Irish cemetery, something I highly recommend doing, and it’s a completely different story. The headstones are massive. They have to be to list all those buried in the family plot and leave space for names yet to be engraved. Rarely have I visited a cemetery when there wasn’t someone tending a grave – watering the plants, adding fresh flowers, tidying the array of rosary beads and religious statues. Lighting candles. Praying and talking with the departed. Honoring the dead. It’s not about efficiency and convenience. It’s not about mowing the grass.